Skip to comments.Chávez arming to fight attack by U.S.
Posted on 02/12/2005 7:28:32 AM PST by David1
CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has long been known for his harsh anti-Bush rhetoric. But now he's stepping up military plans and weapons purchases to match his combative tone, and he is worrying U.S. policymakers.
Within the past two weeks the leftist populist leader has called himself a ''socialist'' and ''Fidelista,'' and offered a muscular new course for his self-described ''revolution'' on behalf of Venezuela's poor.
''I propose that we move to the offensive, just like the imperialists have moved to the bloody and ruthless offensive. If you don't believe me, look at Iraq . . .'' Chávez told a news conference in Brazil late last month.
''We have to embrace socialism as a thesis,'' he continued, in what observers said was his most direct public reference to his socialist views. He later added that any attack on Cuba or Venezuela ``would be an attack on both.''
Chávez has called President Bush the devil and worse, and he regularly blames Washington for a 2002 coup attempt against him. Critics brand him a would-be dictator, but Chávez has won two democratic elections and fended off a recall referendum just last year.
Still, his latest comments worry U.S. policymakers, mostly because they coincide with his push to obtain new weaponry and forge a new national military doctrine that would prepare his country for a war of resistance against a possible U.S. invasion.
Simultaneously, Chávez has said he is placing the 50,000 soldiers of the military reserve directly under his control and organizing his civilian supporters into armed militias to be known as ``popular defense units.''
OIL A COMPLICATION
Although U.S. officials have dismissed the idea of a military attack on Venezuela, they have expressed concern over Chávez' new stance since Venezuela remains the fourth-largest supplier of oil to the United States.
Earlier this week, the State Department's assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, Roger Noriega, challenged Chávez's efforts to create the militias and his purchase of 40 Russian helicopters and 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles.
Noriega told a TV interviewer that the weapons could end up in ''the hands of some criminal and irregular groups'' -- an apparent reference to leftist guerrillas in neighboring Colombia with whom Chávez has been accused of sympathizing.
Vice President José Vicente Rangel responded swiftly to Noriega's comments, saying they had ''the deliberate goal of provoking Venezuela'' and that the new guns would replace old weaponry.
The heightened U.S.Venezuela tensions coincide with new strategies for bilateral relations in both countries.
After years of Washington's trying to avoid confrontations with Chávez, a new U.S. ''policy review'' is expected soon to recommend trying to isolate Venezuela from its neighbors.
''We've tried to establish common ground with the Venezuelan government,'' Noriega said in the television interview. ``But, unfortunately, President Chávez has sabotaged our efforts.''
For his part, Chávez has been trying to extricate Venezuela from the U.S. economic sphere of influence by forging ties with countries such as China and Argentina and hinting that he may sell Venezuela's U.S. gasoline and refining business, Citgo.
But it is Venezuela's attempt to procure arms and create militias that has made the U.S. government jumpy.
''Even if these are to replace the older weapons, where are these older models going to go?'' wondered one State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity. ``They're old. It doesn't mean they're useless.''
Other deals include the purchase of the 40 helicopters and the possible purchase of 50 Russian-made MiG 29 fighter jets. Media reports from Washington say the United States has petitioned Russia to rethink the sales.
While some officials worry that the AK-47s could end up in Colombian rebels' hands, others believe the weapons acquisition is a reasonable part of Chávez's shift in military doctrine.
As described by Gen. Melvin López, head of the National Defense Council (Venezuela's equivalent to the National Security Council), the new doctrine would focus on an ''asymmetric war'' -- a conflict between a superior and an inferior fighting force, like those in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Under the new doctrine, the only way to fend off a superior enemy is by using guerrilla tactics -- hence Chávez's efforts to create militia groups and bulk up reserve units.
In recent statements, López said asymmetrical war would involve ``the participation of the whole population; adapting ourselves to the geopolitical [situation] of the country.''
Chávez recently said the new popular defense units would comprise 10 to 500 members each and would fall outside the normal military hierarchy and directly under the president's command, in effect creating Chávez's own, private revolutionary army. They are to be organized ``in the barrio, in the factory.''
If the ''imperialists'' intervene in Venezuela, Chávez added, ``they will face the people . . . ready to defend their sovereignty, their country and their dignity.''
Venezuela's new strategy comes from the same roots as 'the prolonged popular war of Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap in Asia, and `the war of all the people' in Cuba,' '' said one of the Chávez government's ideologues, Mexico-based academic Heinz Dieterich.
Cuba has long projected the ''war of all the people'' not only as the strategy it would use to wear down and eventually defeat a possible U.S. invasion but as the kind of aggressive posture that might even deter a U.S. attack.
That is not far from the vision of Gen. Alberto Müeller, a studied military tactician as well as a former senator and Chávez campaign aide. Müeller is expected to be named to the special government commission that will put the country's new military doctrine in writing.
In an interview with The Herald, Müeller said the new doctrine of ''decentralized defense'' was to signal the United States not to attack.
If he's arming himself, then I'm sure he's planning something that he expects to prompt a US response.
This man is simply insane. Do the people of his country recognize this?
"We have to embrace socialism as a thesis''
Fidels pal. Yes, 80% of the people are poor so let`s take even more money that isn`t there, after all I guess money grows on trees in Venezuela. Screw capitalism and globalism! Let`s use monopoly money!
About as much as the former governments did, maybe more as oil prices have risen.
He has diverted funds from the middle and upper class to the lower masses.
He is just using the same tactic Castro has been using for the past 45 years to entertain his own people and make them forget about their own hardships. Now he is using the same fear of "US invasion" as Castro has used for the past 45 years. I was expecting this for a long time since he is such a Castro butt kisser.
Isn't this same fella that Jimmy Carter embraced his election and had a lovefest with?
Barrett M82A1 .50cal BMG = "Reach out and touch someone long distance".
This guy has manure for brains;
Too bad he holds a country's reins.
Thinks he's Napoleon or Charlemagne;
He's cer-ti-fi-a-bly insane.
The Cuban experience is a good comparison. They attempted several failed adventures in other countries but were not successful, due in large part to US support for the targets.
IMO One big difference in this case is that Cuba is an island, constrained by geographical fact. Venezuela is not so constrained and will have an easier time infiltrating and/or supporting dissident groups in already unstable neighboring countries.
His biggest mistake is to fall in with Castro.
The land expropriations is a biggie too.
These are the two big things that could swing against him.
"Do the people of his country recognize this?"
Many do, yes. And they tried hard to get rid of him, unfortunately they did not succeed.
He is a stinking commie, but there are still too many of them. The thug, Mugabe, has just about ruined Zimbabwe; and Chavez bids to ruin Venezuala.
Once again, let us give thanks we live in the USA. And let us continue to work hard to keep it free, especially free from Communism. And from Islamofacism, the growing scourge.
...not to forget, D. Ortega did the same schtick, over and over, during his term ruining Nicaragua.
He's not as smart as Castro. He's just imitating Castro. I'm guessing he'll self-destruct.
This has all the ingredients of a Woody Allen re-make.
And yet every socialist country also has its nomenklatura of high government officials that has special privileges and benefits available only to it.
Venezuela, having learned nothing from the past or present, wants to go that failed direction?
Was Ortega the one that came in after the revolution?
Because from what I hear from people before it was not much better. Torture chambers, money stolen from relief funds, even blood donated to help in an earthquake was sold on.
No. That's a cover. He's arming to take over more land. Colombia, etc. IMO.
We ought not to tolerate his continued wasting of oxygen.
For Venezuelans, slavery is when UGO takes control of your country; hope is when the US takes note of what this communist punk is up to; and freedom is when he is thoroughly ventilated along with his top commissars and hanged by the ankles in the public square of Caracas for an appropriate outraging of the corpses. The sooner the better.
It would have to be. Carter has a perfect record of supporting losers at the world leader level who systematically and thoroughly abuse their people whether intentionally and negligently.
Carter is the master of economic and social malaise. The one thing he cannot and will not tolerate is a cheerful, optimistic, prosperous, and self-reliant people.
Right -- the Somoza regime was no picnic. It was said that, in essence, five bigshot families controlled or owned most of the country and decided its fortunes. So, out of the frying pan (which was fairly local and contained), into the fire (which made it instantly a threat of the first magnitude, the international communist conspiracy -- a direct threat to the US -- that is, until that scheme came apart at the seams in 1989-90).
Another Castro. Perfect! END SARCASM!
My guess: He wants to attack Colombia and/or Guyana because Venezuela has territorial disputes with both countries. Chavez is a rabid nationalist and populist. That's quite a brutal combination.
I hear they are relatively stable now with a semi-functioning democracy. Do you know it is or not?
I certainly hope so. If countries in Latin America can show that democracy means you can prosper then it would a great example.
Brilliant implementation of the highly acclaimed North Korean model of governance.
I think the same goes for most people living in the Western world. I mnea there are literally billions of people leaving in poverty or under dictatorship. We are all lucky to have the benefit of living in a free, prosperous, democratic society.
"I've told my own children this a thousand times, and I tell my students that as well."
good on ya Clara Lou! keep telling them the TRUTH! It's amazing how many people won't.
What do people in nordeste Brasil think about this cabron?
And it's time for us to ratchet up the old Cold War. Ronald Reagan won the battle and instigated the demise of the Evil Empire, but will Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe, and Hugo Chavez win the war?
There's only one way to deal with an idiot like this one, and that is to cut him off at his knees. Blockade all oil exports coming out of his country, I know it would probably hurt us in the short term but the long term benefits would be tremendous. His whole house of cards would collapse overnight and he'd be just another self-deluded Socialist fool dumped upon the ashe heap of history.
Those elections were as democratic as Saddam's. As Stalin said, "It doesn't matter who votes. What matters is who counts the votes." When Carter blessed them we should have known this would be coming.
Sounds like a more violent version of Mexico.
The Moonbat Doctrine
I found this good link about the last century over there. Makes a good paraphrased read.
January 21, 2005
During a recent South American tour, a U.S. Senate delegation showed how futile it is to patronize despots. Members struggled to invent common bonds with Venezuelas authoritarian leader, and then promised what they couldnt deliver.
In Caracas on January 10, Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) called on President Hugo Chávez, offering to repair testy relations with Washington if he would assure oil exports to the United States and cooperate with U.S. counternarcotics efforts in Colombia.
At Rice's confirmation hearing these three Senators---all on the Committee---really pushed her to promise to make nice to Chavez. It caught the attention of we who were watching, that's for sure. Dodd's time at the hearing starts around here and he got right to Venezuela. Rice declined to say Chavez was someone we could work with.
The Communists will keep trying even though their ideas are throughly discredited. Not able to win with ideas, they lie, cheat, murder, imprison, torture, etc., until they subdue the opposition.
Never forget that is what the Democrats have become in this country, especially Hillary. Don't forget the law breaking, the lying under oath, the threats and intimidation of perceived enemies, the FBI files, the private investigators, the incorporation of Larry Flynt into their efforts, and the many suspicious murders during the Clinton/Gore administrations. Nothing has changed. We are at war for our lives and our way of life.
One of the things that hurt the Soviet Union in the 1980's was the deregulation of petroleum pricing by the Reagan Administration. The dramatic increase in supply dropped the price of oil from $45 to $12. This ruined a reliable source of hard currency for the bankrupt Soviets, and hurt their ability to provide oil to client states at a subsidized price.
Right now, a lot of Chavez' domestic support results from social programs funded by oil revenues. Perhaps if our government permitted drilling in ANWR, Chavez' support could be undermined.
Instead of lasting three seconds in a US onslaught he will actually last FIVE seconds!
We need to rethink high speed rail along the eastern corridor and other options that will eventually lessen our dependence on oil. Flywheel technology is an example of something that is waiting for advances in material science to become economically feasible for mass use. Solar power that relies on batteries will never be a viable solution. A long life reasonably priced flywheel energy storage unit would make solar power more cost effective and lead to rapid growth in installations.
Only by lessening the demand for oil and gas and driving the price into the basement can we remove the potential for mischief from those with oil. Energy independence is the solution.
Watch Guyana. Venezuela has a colorable claim to the western half of it. It's been a low level dispute for over a century. Hugo might see it as an easy win that would sure up his lagging numbers at home. Of course, such a naked violation of sovereignty would make it easy for the US then to intervene.
he is getting bad advise from his parrot...
i hope he invades it. just the pretext we needed...
Okay, goodpoint. Is that on the road to Chiapas, the Tzotz-choj Autonomous Zone?